Research as a trigger

I have mentioned here before that I’m working toward a Master of Liberal Studies degree from the university where I work. As part of that effort, I’m currently enrolled in a graduate research course. My task: A 30-page research paper on a topic of my choosing.

I chose to research pelvic girdle pain broadly and, to the extent possible, diastasis symphysis pubis specifically. I’ve been researching for weeks, conducting interviews and compiling my thoughts.

STRENGTH doesn't come from the things you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't.And I’ve learned that researching — actually learning — can be a trigger. A major, serious, get-out-of-my-way-I-need-to-cry-in-a-bathroom-stall trigger. (I guess that is a risk of researching things in public places.)

It seems every article I read elicits an intense response. There was one that made me question whether I was improperly nourished in childhood because Vitamin D deficiency during bone formation may play a role in future response under the stress of pregnancy and childbirth. (I only found one study that suggested that and another I found seemed to dismantle the claim.) Another stated emphatically that all pain in the pelvic girdle subsides three months or less after delivery (Uh, NO!). And worst of all, the half-dozen articles written in the “Ohmygosh! Look what we found” tone, as though a woman presenting with symptoms of pain AND pelvic ring disturbance that can actually be detected on an X-ray or CT or MRI was the same as finding a diamond on the street.

I am not Sideshow Bob, and neither are the hundereds, even thousands of moms out there who are living with PGP, SPD and DSP every day!

Each time I have had to stop and remind myself that the lack of understanding out there is why what I’m trying to do matters. Maybe, just maybe, what I’m going to write will teach people something. And maybe that will help another woman get the answers — and the care, support and hope — she deserves.

I’m spending most of my spare time right now working on this project. As soon as I have a draft in good enough shape to spend time elsewhere I will return to more regular blogging. I also will update the resources page soon with all of the articles I was able to access for free online and with citations for others I found useful that should be attainable through a library. (Interlibrary loan has been wonderful!)

Thank you for your support, encouragement and help in this effort.

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